Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Asst. Fire Warden's 1929 Buick Squad Truck
Newhall, California

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1929 Buick squad truck, assigned to the Assistant Fire Warden for the Soledad Division of the L.A. County Forestry Department.

It's parked at the department's Soledad Division Headquarters at 1457 San Fernando Road in Newhall.

The assistant fire warden was the equivalent of today's battalion chief. The Soledad Division was initially responsible for a 1,000-plus square-mile territory stretching from Santa Clarta Divide on the south to the Ventura, Kern and San Bernardino county borders on the west, north and east.

According to Brunner's 1940 history, the headquaters building, where this truck is parked, was erected during the winter of 1928. The building is gone, but according to Station 73 Fire Capt. Paul Peppard (2014), the corrugated steel barn, seen at left, is still there — although it's been stuccoed over and re-roofed. The corrugated metal siding can still be seen from inside, Peppard says.

Between 1948 and 1954, the County Department of Forester and Fire Warden, Fish and Game and Fire Protection Districts consolidated to become the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

As for 1457 San Fernando Road, the address was renumbered in the 1950s and renamed in 2008. In the 1950s this building was replaced with what's now Fire Station 73 on the north side of this same property, which current address is 24875 Railroad Ave.

From Fire Capt. Paul Peppard, Fire Station 73-B, Battalion 6, Los Angeles County Fire Department (2014):

The Los Angeles County Fire Department was born from the State's Forest Protection Act of 1905 out of a need to protect our watershed (read: drinking water). The County Board of Supervisors appointed the County Fish and Game Warden to the additional position of Fire Warden. This soon evolved into the Los Angeles County Department of Forester and Fire Warden, a title our fire chief still holds today.

Our initial focus was the wildland areas of the county, with rapid growth occurring in that realm in the early 1920s. At the same time, unincorporated townships were sprouting up throughout the county, so it fell on the Forester and Fire Warden to provide fire protection to these communities, which was accomplished by establishing "fire protection districts" to levy taxes to fund fire protection. So the county fire department became two different "departments" under one roof: the Forestry Department and the Fire Protection Districts — Forestry for the wildland and districts for the towns. (Newhall Fire Protection District actually formed in 1953, so we technically had two different "departments" operating out of one station: E73 for the wildland and E273 for the township.)

It wasn't until 1954 that the two "departments" merged and became the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

FD2901: 19200 dpi jpeg from jpeg courtesy of Fire Capt. Paul Peppard, Station 73, Los Angeles County Fire Department, 2014.

Agency Description 1940

1928 Fire (Forestry) Station, Newhall

1928 Fire (Forestry) Station, Newhall

Pumper & 1928 Soledad Div. HQ, Newhall

Asst. Chief's 1929 Buick, Newhall

1933 Pumper, Newhall

Asst. Warden's 1937 Chevy Carryall, Newhall

Station 73 Dedication 7/1958

Station 73 Newhall 1970s

Station 73 Newhall 2008

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